With the NFC East rivals both struggling, Eagles coach Doug Pederson added some fuel to the Week 7 fire.
"I know the sky's falling outside. It's falling. I get that," Pederson said Monday on WIP Radio. "But we're going down to Dallas and our guys are going to be ready to play. And we're going to win that football game, and when we do, we're in first place in the NFC East. We control our own destiny, we're right where we need to be. Has it been perfect or beautiful or all that? No. But all we got to do is try to be 1-0 this week, beat the Dallas Cowboys, we're in first place, and listen they're reeling too. They're struggling to. They've dropped their last three games, so this will be an exciting football game."
Neither NFC East squad is playing well at the moment, with both sporting a 3-3 record.
The Eagles got manhandled by the Minnesota passing attack Sunday, falling 38-20 on the road. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have dropped three straight tilts after a comeback bid fell short against Sam Darnold's New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
The Eagles have missed DeSean Jackson's field-stretching ability, as the offense has been wonky the past several weeks. The Philly pass defense, however, has been an Achilles' heel. Sunday the Eagles gave up 333 yards passing and four touchdowns to Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, including two 50-plus yard scores to Stefon Diggs.
Despite the struggles, especially on defense, Pederson remains confident.
"I have to be. I am," he said Monday. "I see, when I watch the tape, I put the tape on and I go, OK, there's coachable moments and there's teachable moments on the tape that we can get better at as an offense and as a defense. And I'm also optimistic that some of our injured players in the secondary will make a return this week, and we'll see. I got to stay positive, not only for myself but for the guys in the locker room."
For the Cowboys, the offense has been inconsistent the past three weeks after blasting out of the gate to open the season. Gone have been the pre-snap motions and creative play-calling we saw from Kellen Moore earlier in the campaign. Dallas' defense has also been a disappointment, unable to get big stops when needed.
With two teams desperately in need of wins, whichever defense can finally step up could give their squad an advantage in the NFC East.
It didn't take long for Pederson to slightly walk back his radio comments, insisting during his Monday news conference that he didn't guarantee a W.
"Never said that," Pederson said. "I never said that. Never said guarantee a win. Nah, I'd never do that. No."
Whether or not Pederson said the word "guarantee" is moot. The sentiment behind the quotes remains. The public, and more importantly the Cowboys, will view them that way. Plus, Pederson doesn't regret what he said Monday morning.
"No, because it shows confidence in our football team," Pederson said. "And I promise you, Jason Garrett's going to say the same thing with his team, that they're going to win the football game as well. And I'm not going to stand up here or go on record and say we're going to go down there and try to win a game. Hopefully we can go win this one, it just doesn't show confidence, and I want to show confidence in our players. We got a ton of confidence in them, we're going to put a good week of preparation in and go play."